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Best Tanning Bed Bulbs [2021 Review]

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With all the possible dangers from going outside, it’s hard to get the tan you want. You can get a tan indoors while staying safe with the help of tanning bed bulbs. If you’re looking for one, we’ve compiled a list of the best tanning bed bulbs. 

Our Top Tanning Bed Bulbs Reviews

Shopping for a new set of tanning bed bulbs for getting the skin tone you want can be difficult. Tanning bulbs are mostly used at home. Before using one, you should know the right amount of UV rays for tanning. 

That’s why we chose the best tanning bed bulbs to shorten your list. They’re some of the easiest to use and produce the best results. 

Brand
Best Overall
Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus
Best for the Money
Aurora Series Beach Sun RDC Tanning Lamp
Best Cheap Pick
Wolff Velocity Extreme Training Lamp
Product
Wolff Dark Tan II Plus F71 100W Bi Pin Tanning...
Aurora Series Beach Sun F73 100W RDC Tanning Lamp...
Wolff Velocity Extreme F71 100W Bi Pin Tanning...
Light Source Wattage
100W
100 Watts
100W
Rated Life Hours
800 hours
1200 Hours
1000 Hours
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus
Product
Wolff Dark Tan II Plus F71 100W Bi Pin Tanning...
Light Source Wattage
100W
Rated Life Hours
800 hours
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Aurora Series Beach Sun RDC Tanning Lamp
Product
Aurora Series Beach Sun F73 100W RDC Tanning Lamp...
Light Source Wattage
100 Watts
Rated Life Hours
1200 Hours
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Wolff Velocity Extreme Training Lamp
Product
Wolff Velocity Extreme F71 100W Bi Pin Tanning...
Light Source Wattage
100W
Rated Life Hours
1000 Hours
Rating
Price

Best Overall Tanning Bed Bulbs: Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus

The Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus is part of the F71 series Wolff systems have come up with. They’re one of the best tanning bed bulbs around the market. 

Compared to some of the more expensive tanning bed bulbs, the Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus gives better results. They’re also not very expensive. 

You get better face coverage and an unrivaled dark, golden tan in about 10 – 13 minutes. This product contains 24 bulbs so you have a lot of spare for replacements. 

These tanning bed bulbs power at 100 watts. They’re designed in bi-pin that makes them easier to install on your tanning bed. They’re more for home use than for salons and tanning spas. 

These tanning bed bulbs work better for maintaining tans and not on renewing tones. 

This product works well on almost all the tanning beds that use reflector lamps like ESB, SunVision, Solar Storm, SunQuest Wolff, Alpha Sun, and Sunsource. 

One thing you may not like about the Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus is that they can run too hot. Make sure you adjust them at the right temperature or you might end up getting burnt.  

Overall, the Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus are easy to install and have one of the best tan coverage compared to most tanning bed bulbs. 

Pros

  • Excellent quality bulbs
  • Can fit almost all tanning beds
  • High UVB concentration for faster tanning

Cons

  • Only fit in bi-pin sockets
  • May run too hot

Best Tanning Bed Bulbs for the Money: Aurora Series Beach Sun RDC Tanning Lamp

Aurora Series Beach Sun F73 100W RDC Tanning Lamp...
  • F73T12 100W-120W RDC Tanning Lamp
  • Rated Life of 1200 Hours - Rated for 15 minute sessions
  • Compatible Replacement for many popular sun beds.

If you’re looking to get the best from your money then you might want to consider getting the Aurora Series Beach Sun RDC Tanning Lamp.

These tanning bed bulbs have a 15-minute effective application. Compared to the Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus, it’s only 2 minutes slower in the tanning process which is not bad. 

The Aurora Series Beach Sun just like Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus also heats up really fast.  

These tanning bed bulbs also are compatible with a lot of different types of sunbeds. You can use them as a replacement for Bellarium S, Genesis 120, Diamond Sun, Sunmaster, and many more. You can use them for your home, salon, and even your tanning spa.

It works the same as Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus in terms of maintaining a tan. In fact, it enhances the color, with huge base tanners.  

You also have to keep in mind that these tanning bed bulbs use ultraviolet radiation just like Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus. You should always wear eye protection all the time when dealing with ultraviolet radiation.

These tanning bed bulbs have a rated life of 1,200 hours and power up at 100W – 120W.

Overall, it’s the best value for your money. It’s almost comparable to the Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus only behind in small margins. 

Pros

  • Does not easily overheat
  • Compatible replacement for a lot of popular sunbeds
  • Has a rated life of 1,200 hours

Cons

  • When it runs hot, it runs hot
  • Comes in F73 size and not F71

Best Cheap Tanning Bed Bulbs: Wolff Velocity Extreme Training Lamp

Wolff Velocity Extreme F71 100W Bi Pin Tanning...
  • F71T12 BL Bi-Pin 100W EXTREME Tanning Lamp
  • Rated Life of 1000 Hours - Rated for 12-15 minute sessions
  • Upgrade Replacement for many popular sun beds.

The best cheap tanning bed bulbs you can get are the Wolff Velocity Extreme Training Lamp. Despite their price, they’re a significant upgrade for ETS tanning beds. 

The Wolff Velocity Extreme offers a high potency of both UVA and UVB rays in short sessions. These tanning bed bulbs are rated for 12 – 15 minute sessions. 

The UVA rays speed up the skin tan process while UVB rays trigger the production of vitamin D3 on your skin for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. So tanning can not only give you a tan, but it can also strengthen your bones. 

Despite being size F72, the Wolff Velocity Extreme Training Lamp has bi-pin tanning bed bulbs. This means they’re compatible with most tanning beds just like the other tanning bed bulbs mentioned above.

These bulbs can replace Velocity, Dark Tan, Diamond Sun, Golden Tan, Sunmaster, and a lot more. For cheap tanning bed bulbs, it’s hard to find this kind of versatility so this is really a great feature to have. 

These bulbs have a rated life of 1,000 hours which is 200 hours lesser than the Aurora Series Beach Sun RDC Tanning Lamp. That’s not bad for a cheap tanning bed bulb. Overall, for its cheap price, you can’t beat the effectiveness of the Wolff Velocity Extreme Training Lamp.

Pros

  • Extreme upgrade for ETS tanning beds
  • The high potency of UVA and UVB for a faster and darker tan
  • Almost the same tanning time as an expensive tanning bed bulb

Cons 

  • Needs T12 and RDC end fitting
  • Might have broken bulbs upon shipping. Offers free replacement

Best First-Time Tanning Bed Bulbs: Brilliance Active Bronzer RDC Tanning Lamp

Brilliance Active Bronzer FR73 HO Reflector...
  • FR73 T12 HO Reflector 100W-120W RDC Tanning Lamp
  • Rated Life of 1000 Hours - Rated for 12- 15 minute sessions
  • Compatible Replacement for many popular sun beds.

The Brilliance Active Bronzer RDC Tanning Lamp was first introduced in May 2015. They are known for their first-time user features like ease of use and smooth installation. 

The wattage of this tanning bed bulb is 120W compared to 100W from Wolff System and Aurora Series. This means this tanning bulb will require a little more power. However, it also provides better output for faster tanning or that’s how it should go.

The Brilliance Active Bronzer are rated for 12 – 15 minute sessions. In comparison, the Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus are rated for 10 – 13 minute sessions while powered in 100W. It’s understandable since we’re comparing them with the best.

Compared to the Aurora Series, they work faster while they have the same speed as the Wolff Velocity Extreme. It’s better to use them for 100W lamps since they still work just the same under it. 

These bulbs can last for 1,000 hours. Like all the other tanning bed bulbs on this list, it is a compatible replacement for many popular sunbeds. 

Another great thing about these tanning bed bulbs is that they’re relatively cheap compared to other ones on this list. They could have been the best cheap if the Wolff Velocity wasn’t cheaper since both of them have almost the same quality and effectiveness. 

Pros

  • Works on a variety of sunbeds
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Uses higher wattage
  • Longer tanning time than what we would like

Best Salon Feel Tanning Bed Bulbs: Sperti Fiji Sun Home Tanning Lamp

Sperti Fiji Sun Home Tanning Lamp - Face and Body...
  • Salon Quality - No need to carve out time for an appointment. Fiji Sun lets you conveniently achieve...
  • Face and Body - Easy to use tabletop light is fully angle adjustable, allowing it to be used for...
  • All Year Bronze - Maintain a natural glow year-round, regardless of the weather or season. This...

While not your typical tanning bed bulbs, the Sperti Fiji Sun Home Tanning Lamp will give you a salon-quality tan right at the comfort of your home. These are even used by tanning salons and spas. 

The design of the Sperti Fiji is durable. It’s also easy to install. What’s also great about this tanning lamp is you can adjust it at any angle for full-body coverage. You can also use it for sectioning tanning and facial bronzing. 

This indoor tanning box is also cleared by the FDA so you’re guaranteed that it’s safe to use. You don’t have to worry about sunburns and overexposure to UVA radiation. You also get UVA blocking eyewear for this product. 

The Sperti Fiji Sun Home Tanning Lamp has a built-in 15-minute auto shut-off timer. It’s useful for keeping your tanning session to the right time and avoiding overheating. It has around the same average tanning time as the tanning bed bulbs on this list. 

They have around 1,000 bulb life which is the same as most of the tanning bed bulbs on this list. What’s different about this is you can carry it around with you. So you can have quality salon tanning while multitasking everywhere you go.

Overall, if you want a portable salon-like tanning quality, then you should try the Sperti Fiji Sun Home Tanning Lamp.  

Pros

  • Portable and easy to use
  • Adjustable angle light
  • FDA approved

Cons

  • Longer tanning time
  • Not your traditional tanning bed bulb

Features to Consider for Tanning Bed Bulbs

If you’re on this article, then you’ve probably owned a tanning bed for a while now. These terms might make sense to you and you should know that changing the tanning bed bulbs are necessary for safety and best tanning results. 

Woman using a tanning bed

Tanning Effect

For choosing tanning bed bulbs, you should first know your skin tone and skin type. You should also set the level of tanning you want to have. 

Skin allergies and irritations you have will affect what tanning level your tanning bed bulb should have. You can look for tanning bed bulbs with a certain level of FR emission. Some bulbs can darken your skin in a matter of minutes while some would take a while

The results won’t always be what you expect. It all depends on the effectiveness of the tanning bed bulbs and how your skin adapts to its current tone.

UV Rating

Natural sunlight has a UVA rating of around 95% of the total UV radiation. The UVB is accounted for around 5%. Choose tanning bed bulbs that apply this ratio. 

Some brands often increase the UVB rating to 6 – 7% for a faster tanning process. UVB can trigger the production of melanin which is oxidized by UVA that generates dark pigment in the skin. 

If you want faster tanning you might want a higher UVB rating. However, you should also be careful with the duration of your session. Excessive exposure to UV radiation can cause sunburn or cancer. 

Wattage

Wattage can predict how efficient a tanning bed bulb will be. You will mostly find tanning bed bulbs with a wattage rating ranging from 80W to 160W. If you want to be on the safe side, pick 100W which is the most commonly used.

Most of our tanning bed bulbs on this list also have 100W with the exception of Brilliance Active Bronzer RDC Tanning Lamp that can run 100W – 120W. 100W provides the most optimum performance in terms of power consumption and overheating.

Compatibility

Not all lamps are one size fits all. You first need to check if the tanning bed bulbs are compatible with your tanning bed. 

Most tanning beds have bi-pin tanning lamp support with standard lengths so just choosing a tanning bed bulb with bi-pin will be compatible. The Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus has a bi-pin feature so it’s nearly compatible with most tanning beds. 

Another way to check the tanning bed bulbs’ compatibility is their bulb length and size.  

Bulb Length

You have probably read F71 or F73 on tanning bed bulb’s product name. This corresponds to the length of the bulb. F stands for “fluorescent” which is the length of the bulb.

Most tanning bed bulbs commonly have a size of F71, F73, or F72. the number corresponding to the length in inches. F71 has the advantage of having a bi-pin. You can also buy adapters to convert them to F73 or F72. 

The Wolff Dark Tan II Plus and Wolff Velocity Extreme both have a bulb length of F71 and have bi-pin features too.

Lit tanning bed bulbs being used by a customer

Bulb Size

The T number denotes the size of the bulb. The most common bulb size is T12. the size of the bulb influences the coverage and intensity of the UV radiation.

T12 offers just the right amount of intensity and coverage for a safe tanning session. It’s no wonder that all of the tanning bed bulbs on this list have a bulb size of T12. 

Session Length

Some people like their tanning beds to tan them faster. This would depend on the rated life of the bulb and its level of FR emission. 

Some tanning bed bulbs can provide you with a session from 10 to 30 minutes. If you have a pale skin tone, it might even take longer. 

For the fastest session length, the Wolff System Dark Tan II Plus has a session length of 10 – 13 minutes with immediate results too. 

Shelf Life

Some tanning bed bulbs have a rated life of 800 and even below. For context, 800 is the average shelf life of tanning bed bulbs. 

Choose tanning bed bulbs that have a rated life of 1,000 to 1,200 hours. These tanning bed bulbs usually won’t require you to replace them for a long time while having a quality tanning effect.

For the longest shelf-life, the Aurora Series Beach Sun Tanning Lamp is the best with a rated life of 1,200 hours. 

Color

As mentioned, tanning bed bulbs come with UV lights which can cause sunburn. Some tanning bed bulbs offer red light therapy with zero ultraviolet. However, it doesn’t really have the tanning effect that you would want.

In the end, tanning bed bulbs color is all about preference. As long as you make sure the tanning bed bulbs won’t cause you sunburn or excessive UV radiation exposure then it doesn’t matter what color it is. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Tanning Bulbs Contain Mercury?

Tanning bulbs do contain mercury. It is necessary for the lighting process. The mercury content of tanning bed bulbs is even higher. Therefore, you should always be careful when handling them especially if they are broken into pieces.

How Often Should I Change My Tanning Bed Bulbs?

It’s best to change your tanning bed bulbs within 600 – 700 hours of usage. You can calculate this by dividing the hours into the minutes of your tanning session. 

For example, if you do a tanning session for about 15 minutes, it would take about 2,400 sessions for it to reach 600 hours of usage. It might be hard to track down, so people just change when it feels off or not as effective anymore. 

Conclusion

Tanning bed bulbs aren’t just for tanning. In fact, they sometimes help with skin treatment. They also trigger the production of certain vitamins in your body. Therefore, you want to have the best tanning bed bulbs both for skincare and for health reasons.